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I love my job and I love a good challenge. In that spirit, I will now challenge myself—as a mental exercise—to rid a typical mountain cabin of three common pests using tools only available to cavemen. I’m raring to go, so let’s go.

Ants in a kitchen. Right off the bat, I would grab my deer antler knife and trim tree branches touching the roof—notorious ant highways. How would I get up there? I would fashion a ladder with tree branches and string made of leather. Next, I would look for ant trails on the ground. Finding any, I would disturb the trails as far back as I could. Since ants are guided by scent, I would apply pungent herbs, like rosemary, peppermint and thyme, on any remaining trails. Inside the home, I would clean up crumbs and spilled food, then apply my herbs to repel the insects. Odds of success: 50/50.

Mice inside a home. First, I would take materials from the forest, such as tree bark and big hollow branches, and make a live trap. The mice would run down a tunnel then fall into a holding area, which I would bait with aromatic foods. Being a caveman, I would eat the mice. You don’t want to know what else I eat.

To fill openings mice use to enter homes, I would take mud, pine tar, bear scat, pine needles and so on, and craft homemade caulking. To fill gaps around warped buildup doors, I would use my knife to shape branches into custom filler pieces, then attach them with my homemade caulking and nails made from animal bones. Odds of success: 75/25.

Woodpeckers pecking on siding. I would simply lie in wait with rock in hand and hours later I would be sitting around a campfire with my cavegirl, singing caveman songs, eating roast woodpecker. My customers would be happy and I would be one satisfied Paleolithic pest professional. The major drawback is that cavemen died by age forty so I’d be dead by now. Have a scat free week, everyone!

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